The bad advice Runner’s World needs to stop giving 

By , June 11, 2016 9:55 am

A couple of years ago Runner’s World had a hot off the press tip for one of their “use running to lose weight” articles – during your runs, swish your sports drink in your mouth then spit it out to save calories! Recent studies show the sugars trick your brain in to giving you a boost without ingesting it!


Yes, let’s encourage disordered eating (drinking?). It’s not enough that you’re running – don’t you dare think of swallowing (ew)!

They’ve included this tip in their magazine every few months since then. Each time it makes me ragey. I can see encouraging skipping caloric beverages when not running, when not running for a long time, and spitting out during a run if your stomach is upset, but come on. I’m a runner who almost always needs to lose weight and I’m excited I finally found a caloric beverage that my stomach can handle on long runs – because it REALLY helps me get through my run. I’m swallowing it.


I drank and swallowed ALL of this Vitamin Water!


The funny thing is, the article in the July issue that made me think of this is actually an article I like, because it’s about a topic I wrote a draft post about a few months ago and never posted – decision overload (I’ll have to post that once this article is up on their website). And this time, they are giving the tip to do it for a boost of energy when you are NOT running, and to actually ingest the drink if you do need to replenish your glucose stores during a run. So… maybe progress?! I don’t know. I bet we’ll see it show up as a running “weight loss” tip again in a future issue – it seems to be a favorite of theirs.


15 Responses to “The bad advice Runner’s World needs to stop giving ”

  1. Shelley B says:

    I remember reading that swish and spit advice…so dumb. Love that you are calling them out on this. I let my subscription lapse a few months ago because I didn’t want to pay $20/year for the same advice month after month – I’ll probably resubscribe when I can find a deal for $10 or less…apparently that’s my limit for RW, LOL.

    • kilax says:

      I am happy to not to be the only one who thinks it’s dumb!

      Ha ha, I did that too – waited until it was a really cheap deal. I really liked Running Times magazine, and when they quit making it, they just extended all those issues to Runner’s World, so I will be getting tips to swish and spit for years to come.

  2. Xaarlin says:

    I remember that too. So ridic. All of their “lose 15-10-25lbs” cover stories drove me away for years now. If I wanted a diet mag, I would have gotten shape or women’s health. Anyways- I attended a talk given by a person with a Ph.D. In nutrition/certified coach and they brought up the same swish and spit thing- but I believe it was in the context of trying to overcome a sloshy sick belly during a long endurance event. I want to say the liquid swished should be salty and somehow it would help the body/brain figure things out.

    • kilax says:

      I get that a lot of people do take up running to lose weight, so I can see why they cater to that… but stupid tips like this are stupid. Ha. And as you mention, it drives away people who aren’t running to lose weight (and really, so many of their articles are goofy and not very serious and only for a certain crowd).

      Yeah, I can see doing it for THAT reason. Not as a disordered way to save calories when trying to lose weight!

  3. Rachel says:

    It totally makes sense. Like when you eat something you should just go throw it up to save the calories! But it’s just the same as if you actually ate something! Trick that tummy!

    Ugh. Terrible.

  4. Every time I see this advice I think the same thing. Why not swallow it? It’s bizarre and I wish they’d stop.

  5. Amy says:

    Ugh. Runner’s World and their weight loss advice – I gave up on them a long time ago.

  6. Lesley says:

    I stopped reading Runner’s World a while ago, and partly it was advice like that. I don’t want to read about tricks that’ll never work. Unless they’re certified nutritionists, leave the tricks out.

  7. I have a love/hate relationship with Runner’s World. Some of their articles suck.

  8. Karen says:

    You know, running does’t seem like the time to worry about saving calories.
    Eating and fueling are too different things to me I guess.
    As someone who needs to lose weight, I think about my choices after a run. I don’t want a long run to be an excuse to eat up!
    I do need my fuel to have a good workout though…craziness

    • kilax says:

      Yeah, and that is a tip they often give – to not eat everything in sight after a run just because you did run – which seems to be needed (I know a lot of people who gain weight when they start running longer cause they eat more when they aren’t running)! But during the run? Come on.

  9. Ugh! I guess I haven’t been reading my Runner’s World too closely. But, I have been so annoyed that it is basically Cosmo meets running that I let my subscription run out. I found I was only reading the “I’m a Runner” feature and maybe one article before sending it to the recycle bin.

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